Idols in Their Hearts

I’ve spent a fairly significant amount of time lately thinking about what Jesus said when he talked about the kingdom of God being like a man who found a treasure in a field and then sold everything he owned so that he could buy the field to be able to obtain the treasure.

Or in the parable immediately after that as the merchant of pearls found a very precious pearl and so, in the same way, goes to sell everything that he has to be able to return and buy the pearl.

I think this teaches us that obtaining, or we might say accessing or entering, the kingdom of God is worth everything. There is nothing that we have in this life that is worth anything more than being able to enter into the kingdom.

Of course, this has profound implications for us. If nothing is worth more, I should be willing to sell it all or give it all up: My home and all of my possessions, my relationships, my interests, hobbies, passions. Everything. Jesus says that it is worth it all to enter into the kingdom of God.

This morning, I read Ezekiel 13 and 14 and saw something similar in what I read there. Here is one of the verses that highlights the problem that God had with the people of Israel:

Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the LORD will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry.

Ezekiel 14:4

Some of the elders of Israel had come to Ezekiel to inquire of God and to hear from him. But they had other things, even idols, that they placed before their relationship with God. God was a connection that they had “bolted on”, let’s say, to their lives. They weren’t committed to God. They didn’t truly believe that he had all of the answers. They looked, instead, to other gods and other things in their lives.

Ezekiel continues later in chapter 14 by talking about how God says that he will destroy the land because of the people’s unfaithfulness to him. It is crucial that we understand this. God wants our complete fidelity, our whole lives, our minds, our hearts, our souls, and our strength. He wants it all and won’t accept anything less.

I think this is directly connected to what Jesus taught as he spoke of the people who would sell everything to “obtain”, or enter into the kingdom of God. He wants every part of us and so this is how we must dedicate our day today, to give it all to him!

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